by Debra Niesen
I recently heard an interesting talk about the history of adoption in Kansas City, Missouri.
Kansas City was once considered the “baby hub” of the United States, placing about 1,000 babies a year by 1950 (kchistory.org).
Kansas City’s simplified court adoption system and railroads connecting rural communities to the city were the two main reasons that parents from across the country would send their pregnant, unwed daughters to one of the many maternity homes in the area.
Once attitudes and laws began to change in the ’60s and ’70s, most of these homes closed. Though times were very different than today, we pray this history was kind to the babies and mothers involved.
November is National Adoption Awareness Month. As people of faith, we know that adoption is a loving and beautiful way for a child to be welcomed into a family.
We ask God to bless all of those whom adoption is a part of their life story — an adopted child or a child waiting for their “forever home,” parents placing their child for adoption, adoptive families, couples in waiting and those with a loved one touched by adoption.
Though there are trials and uncertainties involved in every adoption, our Catholic community needs to celebrate and share the message that adoption is a beautiful option!
Unfortunately, there is much work to be done. It is estimated that for every infant that is adopted in the U.S., another 61 babies are aborted.
As pro-life people, it is difficult for us to understand this statistic, especially when we know there are around two million couples waiting to adopt in the U.S.
Studies show that a woman in a crisis pregnancy will not consider adoption for many reasons that are often very complicated.
Therefore we, as the body of Christ, must share positive adoption messaging in our culture to help her see that when parenting is not possible, adoption is a courageous and loving option for her, the baby and a waiting family.
Adoption is free to the biological mother and there are numerous resources to help her through a process that may seem overwhelming.
Education is always key to help a woman know that tremendous good can come from this gift of self.
You can help support adoption this month by sharing positive adoption messages on social media and educating yourself and others.
I recommend watching the documentary “I Lived On Parker Avenue,” (ILivedOnParkerAve.com) to hear one of many adoption success stories.
Finally, invoke the intercession of St. Joseph, foster father of Jesus, for all touched by adoption.
Perhaps Kansas City can once again be an adoption leader in the U.S., this time due to our culture of love and life!